The International Conference Meanings of the Rural has three main themes:

1. Social Meanings and Representations of the Rural

This theme seeks contributions dealing with social representations and imageries of rural areas and rurality. This addresses a broad field which includes cultural and social representations, political representations, idylls and counter-idylls, visual images and artistic representations and ways of rural marketing. Under this topic, we welcome contributions dealing, among others, with the following:

  • what images and narratives of the rural are being produced and who are the main actors and institutions responsible for those?
  • how is the rural reflected and presented through art (e.g. literature, cinema, paintings, photography, music)?
  • what are the conflicting views and narratives on rural and rurality?
  • what are the consequences for rural territories and their social meanings deriving from the variety of images and narratives?

2. Rural Development Policies, Strategies and Actors

Within this theme, contributions are expected to address the processes, dynamics, actors and institutions involved in the design and implementation of rural development policies and strategies according to multilevel and multisectoral perspectives.  Presentations dealing with one of the following topics are particularly welcomed:

  • what are the main rural development policy paradigms, issues and orientations to foster rural development?
  • what type of rural is being constructed through development policies and strategies at various levels?
  • which interests are more frequently considered through rural development policies and strategies?
  • What conflicts emerge from the design and implementation of rural development policies and strategies?
  • what is the role of diverse actors and agencies in rural development strategies design and implementation?
  • what are the main challenges in rural planning and management?
  • what kind of methodologies can be developed and applied to support decision-making and evaluation processes?
  • where is the rural and where are its boundaries?

3. Consumptions of the Rural

Under this theme contributions are expected to deal with the processes of demanding and consuming the rural, namely through leisure and tourism related activities and through agricultural products. Contributions on the impacts of the consumptions of the rural and its role in the rural reconfiguration and rural development processes are most welcome. Therefore, under this topic, we welcome contributions dealing, among others, with the following issues:

  • what are the main consumption patterns, practices and motivations regarding rural areas (e.g. tourism and leisure activities, agricultural products, gastronomy, crafts…)?
  • what are the main innovations related to rural tourism and agriculture?
  • what type of networks and synergies are being created among stakeholders concerning rural tourism initiatives, as well as agricultural production?
  • what are the impacts of consumption patterns on local development?
  • how do visitors and residents live and co-create integral rural destination experiences?